draft_lens1615031module4595356photo_1211841208overpacked-bagThe Supershuttle picks us up in half an hour so this one will be brief. We are on our way to South Carolina!  

I don’t know anyone who can quickly pack for a holiday. I needs days to do so. I start a few days ahead of time by writing down on a list what things I may need for the trip. These are not the obvious like undergarments (although I’ve been known to forget these. Oh the embarrassment) but

the items I am likely to sorely miss. Choice examples: headphones, backscratcher, and the Kindle device.

Physicians are trained to do a physical exam in a particular order so there is less chance of missing something by doing things by rote. Urs Truly packs likewise.

Always first is the medications.  Out go the various blood pressure and cholesterol medications along with the vitamins (MVI and D) and whatever snake oil I am taking at the moment.  They go in little day travel boxes of white plastic. I’ve learned these go into the carryon lest the luggage lands in an alternative destination than my person.

Second: the dopp kit. Mine is a beat up black ersatz leather case the size of a small loaf of bread. It has several zipper compartments in which I am continually discovering lost items from previous trips.

The ghost bag is next. I envy people who ‘travel light” as I sure as hell don’t. In goes the laptop, my journal, a book or two, GAMES magazine, my wallet and spectacles, and (if there is room) whatever medical journals are at hand that I read and toss along the way.

Clothes are last as they are less clear. How much to bring is always the question. My Boy Scout training combines with my Midwest mentality to make me usually pack more than necessary. I do like a daily change of Spo-shirt (lest there is talk) and a daily change of underwear (lest I am in the ER and there is worse talk).

This is a good point for an aside to say Someone is fantastic at packing. He could pack a closet full into a carry on. If we are sharing luggage he does the packing.  Clever man.

After I gather all the clothes together I stand back like a show director in front of a group of applicants all after the same few jobs.  I try to whittle down to ‘the basics’ which is often far from basic. No one can accuse me of being spartan.

I always leave room in the luggage for the return trip. Dirty duds take up more space in the suitcase than clean items. Away on holiday I tend to buy things which demand their own space.  Someone tends to pack a full case to avoid the purchasing of knickknacks and bricolage.

For fun I sometimes imagine putting something ‘eye-raising’ in the bag just before closing, lest there is an inspection by the TSA fellow for him to have a heart attack for snooping around my undies.  But I never do.